New Mentoring Project Launched for Young People 

BUSINESSES are being encouraged to take part in a new scheme to help young people learn new skills and help them into work, education or training.

The Live Lab Mentoring project was launched at Green Park on 8th June with a number of businesses and organisations already signed up.

The scheme is part of a wider initiative to bring people from business, arts, charity, public sector and education together to help make Reading a world class, connected community.

Live Lab Mentoring aims to maximise the potential of young people experiencing difficulties achieving what they are capable of.

The goals of the scheme are to boost local talent and give young people with additional needs an opportunity to learn new skills, develop self-awareness and confidence.

Businesses benefit from the scheme by increasing community engagement, boosting reputation, enabling participants to develop interpersonal and leadership skills and exposing them to fresh ideas and perspectives.

Different mentoring opportunities will allow businesses to choose the amount of time they are willing to invest, how regularly, the location and the type of activity.

Councillor Jo Lovelock, Leader of Reading Borough Council, said:

“There remains a skills shortage in Reading and this mentoring initiative has the potential to help address this.

“I know we have young people in the borough who have the skills and talent local employers are looking for but need help to focus their energy in the right direction. This scheme will provide the guidance and support they need to achieve their full potential.”

The Live Lab Mentoring launch event was held at Grow@GreenPark and attended by partners including Grant Thornton and The Oracle shopping and leisure centre.

Daniel Keenan, of Grant Thornton, said:

“Mentoring can be such a powerful tool that can make a real difference in people’s lives. In the business community, we all have at least one person who mentored us on our journey and the thought of people out there not getting that support drives me to make a difference. I hope others feel the same and want to get involved and make that difference.”

The Live Lab Mentoring project started as an idea discussed at the Reading Live Lab event organised by professional services company Grant Thornton in November 2016.

Two-hundred people from business, voluntary organisations, education and public sector, joined forces to consider ways the town could unlock the full potential of its companies, people and communities to keep Reading vibrant in the future. The day culminated in discussion groups putting forward ideas to help achieve this. The Live Lab Mentoring scheme was one of those suggestions and has now become a reality.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Live Lab Mentoring project can contact Charlotte Netherton-Sinclair, Reading Mentoring Co-ordinator, from Reading Children’s and Voluntary Youth Services (RCVYS), on 07464 695608 or email

Also visit for more information.

David Millward

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